A condemnation becomes a recommendation

In Western culture, at least since its Christian formation, there has been a perduring tendency to give too much importance to the morality of sex. The sexual has threatened to take over the moral focus of whole generations of persons. Everything about the “sexual” is considered “moral” or “immoral,” and “morality” is almost reduced to [Read More...]

Mutuality Week and the burden of proof

I go to check out at the library and the library clerk asks to see my card. Fair demand. Am I or am I not a member in good standing entitled to check out these books? Here we have a controversy, a dispute, an unsettled question in need of settling. The clerk has asked a [Read More...]

Who were the apocalypses written for?

At Jesus Creed, Drew J. Strait provides an overview of a new(ish) study from Anathea Portier-Young, Apocalypse Against Empire: Theologies of Resistance in Early Judaism. This seems like a pretty dense book, aimed at a scholarly reader rather than the general public. But the subject matter relates to something we discuss quite a bit here, [Read More...]

Jesus did not shun tax-collectors

Matthew 18:15-17 presents a piece of advice from Jesus that seems wise and constructive: If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take [Read More...]

The evangelical bubble cannot be sustained (part 2)

A standard line of argument for sex education says that if young people aren’t taught the actual facts of the facts of life, then they’ll just wind up learning about it “on the streets.” The idea there is that kids want the truth and they need and deserve to hear it. The desire to protect [Read More...]

The evangelical bubble cannot be sustained (part 1)

The following unrelated items are not unrelated: 1. Latebloomer, who writes at Past Tense, Present Progressive, tells a familiar story about being an inquisitive kid in the insular world of American fundamentalist Christianity: I was in the middle of writing a homeschool high school essay called “Why I Believe What I Believe,” and one of [Read More...]

P.S.: Please don’t eat the chimpanzee

Joppa6

Surfing around for an image to enlist for the previous post on the story of Peter’s vision from Acts 10-11, I came across some rather odd bits of artwork. Like this one, for example, from a Sunday school curriculum illustrating the story. Acts 10 says Peter fell into a trance and: “saw the heaven opened [Read More...]

Slavery and same-sex marriage (cont’d.)

Stephen Prothero’s CNN op-ed from earlier this month titled “On gay marriage, Obama, Billy Graham and a tale of 2 Christianities” touches on some of the points in the previous post here. Prothero notes that the Rev. Billy Graham (or, at least, his children on his behalf) spoke out against marriage equality in North Carolina, [Read More...]


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